Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Understanding the Forgiveness of God

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory."
(Ephesians 1:3-12) 

From the very beginning God had a plan to save us, His lowly creation, from our sins and give us an opportunity to inherit eternal salvation.  This plan centered on the death of His only begotten Son.  It is through His shed blood that we have the forgiveness of sins and hope of eternal life with our Heavenly Father.  God's abundant grace and mercy shines forth in His willingness to sacrifice His Son, to have Him bear our sins and have them nailed to the cross with His own body.  "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13, 14) 

When we think about the magnitude of God's majesty, the depth of His love, and the degree of His faithfulness we must take heed to truly appreciate the abundance of His forgiveness.  And even though we serve a wonderful Father who loves us, will never leave us and who is ever merciful to us, we must remember that He has requirements for us.  He does not give free passage into Heaven to everyone who believes or does what they think God wants them to do.  We must DO what HE commands us to do.  
    "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:  and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.  But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:  and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." (Matthew 7:22-27)

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
      God will not forgive us unless we confess our sin to Him and seek His forgiveness.  God's forgiveness is not automatically distributed to us the moment we transgress His commands.  We must have a godly sorrow that leads us to turn away from whatever sin we have committed.  Any other type of sorry will profit us nothing. "For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death." (2 Corinthians 7:8-10)

God also requires us to forgive one another.  If we refuse to forgive our brethren, God will not forgive us.  "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."  (Matthew 6:14, 15)  “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”  (Matthew 18:35)

God does not want us to be lost because we fail to have godly repentance.  Rather, "the Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)  He wants all of us to make the commitment to follow Him, to have "godly sorrow that produces repentance leading to salvation" when we do sin, and to live faithfully until death so that He can give us the crown of life. 

So I ask, what are you going to do with God's forgiveness?  Will you turn to Him, leave sin behind allow Him to forgive you?  May well all have penitent hearts when we sin so that God's mercy and grace will not be kept from us.

 "To the Lord our God 
belong mercy and forgiveness, 
though we have rebelled against Him."
- Daniel 9:9

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Intro to Pregnancy


The first two months were rather smooth.  I didn't gain any weight, was blessed to be one of the fortunate women who do not experience morning sickness, and have been able to do pretty much whatever I desire.  We did have a little scare when I started spotting (every so lightly) and being first-time parents we had it checked out.  Thankfully, all was well!  At the ultrasound were able to hear our teeny-tiny baby's heartbeat at 6 weeks, when baby was only 6mm!  It was slow, as it had just started beating, but beyond precious nonetheless!  The feeling Ryan and I shared in that room was one that could only be expressed with holding hands and smiling deeply into each others eyes.  We're parents. <3
God is truly awesome!

Big News!

I can't wait to share with you all the projects I have planned for the nursery!  It has a long way to go from being the catch-all/storage/I-don't-know-where-else-to-put-this room it is right now and the floor is barely visible!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Examining God's Faithfulness

“Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;" - Deuteronomy 7:9
        This statement was true when Moses spoke to the children of Israel after giving giving them the commandments of God, it is true for us today, and will remain true to the end of time.  Even though we are under a new covenant, God is keeping the promise to us that if we believe on His Son (Mark 16:16, John 11:25), repent of our sins (Mark 1:15, Luke 13:3), confess Him before men (Matthew 10:32, Luke 12:8) , are baptized into Christ's death (John 3:1-7, I Peter 3:21) and live faithful to Him until death (Revelation 2:10), He will give us a crown of life.

 "Also with the lute I will praise You— And Your faithfulness, O my God! To You I will sing with the harp, O Holy One of Israel." 
- Psalm 71:22
        As proclaimed by David, we too should praise God and His faithfulness.  For without Him by our side, leading us through this world of woe, we would be lost and afraid.

 "O LORD God of hosts, Who is mighty like You, O LORD? Your faithfulness also surrounds You." 
- Psalm 89:8
        Those who are in a true relationship with God cannot help but "see" the faithfulness with which He is surrounded.  Reading His word we see over and over again how God has kept His promises, even when man tried to take matter into His own hands.  Consider the story of Abraham and Sarah when Sarah told Abraham to go into her maidservant to produce an heir, because she had yet to bear any children (Genesis 16:1-4).  God had promised Abraham that his descendants would be as the stars (Genesis 15:5), but yet when God told Abraham that Sarah would conceive at the age of 90 he laughed (Genesis 17:15-18).  Despite Abraham's laughter at God's promise and the fact that he had a child through Hagar, God kept His promise and Sarah conceived and bore a son, and they called his name Isaac, as God commanded (Genesis 17:19, Genesis 21:1-3).  God was faithful to Abraham, He will be faithful to us, too.

 "God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." 
- 1 Corinthians 1:9

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." 
- 1 Corinthians 10:13
        God loves and His sincere desire is for us to be in Heaven with Him.  Therefore, even though He allows Satan to tempt us, that we might be tested and grow stronger in our faith, He "will not allow us to be tempted beyond what [we] are able," and "will also make the way of escape."  God wants us to overcome sin, and is always there to help us if only we will seek the way of escape, acknowledging Him as our strength.  Without God, we would have no hope of overcoming sin, and therefore no hope of eternal life with Him in heaven.

God is faithful to us, but are we faithful to Him?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Took a Break to Refocus

Hello everyone, you might have noticed very little going on here this week. I decided to take a week off to re-focus, relax, and refresh my priorities and focus. Being pregnant and the summer heat hasn't helped me keep up with the housework. I get tired and worn out very easily.  We are installing the downstairs window AC unit tonight, so that should help a lot. Plan to be back and blogging away next week. :)

I have lots of plans for the next several months as we prepare for the arrival of our little bundle. ♥

Thanks for following! :D

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How Does God Love?

The Love of God
Frederick M. Lehman and Claudia L. Mays 1917

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.


Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.


This song beautifully illustrates the magnitude of God's love for His children.  No matter how much we love those closest to us, we can never love as much as our Heavenly Father loves.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)  God loved us before we ever knew Him.  His love for us moved Him to create a way for us to spend eternity in Heaven with Him, even though it meant giving His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins, as described in John 3:16.  All of us, through selfish ambitions and desires, separated ourselves from our Father when we sinned.  (Romans 3:23)  Even though we have sinned against our Creator, He longs for us to come to Him (Acts 17:30), that He might forgive us of our sins (Ephesians 1:7), and take us home with Him in the end.  Even though the road is rough, God has said that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:10).

God's love is the most powerful love.  We cannot deny His love and win.  We cannot deny His love and live full, happy lives.  We must accept His love and come to Him on His terms, in order to have our home in Heaven with Him after this life is over. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Master Bedroom

Yesterday I shared with you Apartment vs. New House photos of our master bath.  Today I would like to share with you our master bedroom.

Here's what we had in our apartment.

Note:  The painting is not yet completed, we didn't finish painting the bedroom until we moved into our house.  The wall behind the dresser and the wall facing the bed would eventually all be the same blue as the wall with the window.  The wall behind the bed we painted a light tan color.

And, here's our bedroom now:

View from corner by closet door and clock.  We're currently using a light blanket (much cooler for the spring and summer months) instead of the matching comforter. (We don't have central air and try to use the window unit in our bedroom sparingly)

 View from corner with bathroom door.  We decided to have the TV in the bedroom because we like to cuddle in bed while we watch movies.  We don't receive any television/cable services and only watch movies once or twice a month, so this works for us right now.

Close up of picture frames on dresser.  (Left)  Photo collage with a picture from our wedding and the first flowers Ryan every bought me along with scriptures about sleeping/resting peacefully.  (Right)  One of our favorite engagement photos.  Flowers I wore in my hair on our wadding day accent the photos.

 A close up of my jewelry storage/display using a variety of glass pieces and a jewelry box

Bedroom To-Dos:
  1. Add headboard so we can place the bed in front of opposite window.
  2. Add tall dresser for Ryan (So I can take over the dresser we currently have. :P)
  3. Add matching night stands. (I currently don't even have one, not that there's room for it now anyway.)
  4. Add two more curtain panels, one for each window.  (We currently only have one panel per window.)
  5. Paint wall behind bed. (I am thinking of using this stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils)
  6. Give trim and other three walls a fresh coat of paint.
  7. Add more wall decor.
  8. Add bench at the end of the bed.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Master Bath

When my husband and I registered for our wedding, he insisted on a purple bathroom.  He'd always dreamed of having a purple bathroom.  And so...a purple bathroom we had!  Here is what our bath looked like in our apartment.

 My sweet Hubby has given me more "free reign" in decorating our new home and I have no intention of painting our bathroom walls purple!  In fact, we haven't done any painting in our new house.  We only lived in our apartment for about 3 months before we found our house, and only two more months before we actually moved.  In those first short 3 months we had only finished painting the living room and started painting the bathroom.  Our landlord gave us the option to finish painting with the paint we had already purchased, instead of re-painting the work we had already done.  We ended up making a few trips back to the apt to finish painting after we moved into our house.  Thus we were not any too eager to start another painting project.  A year later and we still haven't done any painting.

Here is what our master bath looks like now.

Bathroom To-dos:
  1. Hang double towel rod.
  2. Hang toilet paper holder.
  3. Hang towel ring by sink.
  4. Add wall shelf above toilet.
  5. Re-paint trim and walls.
  6. Instal new shower walls (They aren't sealed which led to a horrendous mold problem.  We haven't used this shower since mid-March.)
  7. Instal new faucet.
  8. Instal new shower fixtures.
  9. Instal new lighting.
  10. Buy new bath mats.
  11. Hang hook for towel next to shower.
  12. Hang new matching towel ring.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Incredible Edible Egg...Storage Tip

The fridge we had before we moved into our new house had a handy little storage tray for eggs built into the fridge door.  This little tray great, providing easy access to the eggs, while keeping them save.  My husband eats eggs for breakfast every morning before work, and so easy access is definitely appreciated!  

The fridge in our new house did not come with one of these handy little storage trays.  

 At first I just took the eggs out of the carton and carefully placed them in the shelf on the door.  This was okay, as long as most of the eggs were still there.  Once it got down to the last half-dozen, they would roll around a lot, and I was always afraid they would knock against one another and break.  Even though this method provided quick and easy access, I didn't like the lack of protection it provided.  

Next, I tried just putting the entire carton in the door.  This protected the eggs so I didn't worry about them breaking.  But forget easy access!  It was such a pain to have to open the carton lid to get the eggs out, especially since we couldn't open the lid all the way.  Ugh!  What to do?  What to do?  

Finally, I got smart and decided to cut the lid and closure flap completely off!

This left me with just the bottom of the carton.  No extra pieces to get in the way or slow us down in the morning.

And voila!

The new egg carton fits beautiful in the door of our fridge, provides protection for the eggs, and allows quick and easy access for our hurried mornings!  Exactly what we needed.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Acknowledging and Appreciating the Majest of God

"I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works."
- Psalm 145:5

Just as the Psalmist stated, so we should do.  We need to spend time throughout the day thinking about the grand majesty of our Heavenly Father.  He is so mighty, powerful, wonderful and gracious, more so than we could ever fully comprehend during our life here on earth.  In our daily efforts to more accurately understand God (not that we can completely understand Him, though we can try) we need to spend time thinking about Him, His character traits, and the "wondrous works" He has done.

To help us understand the majesty of the Mighty One, let's look into the original Greek.
Strong's:  "splendor, glory, nobility, strength" and "often related to the appearance of an object that is beautiful and instills awe."
Wilson's:  "glory, honor, splendor, beauty, 'full of majesty', any good quality or endowment for which a person is admired, honored, and celebrated."

There are several verses throughout the Old Testament which speak of the majesty of God.  Here are a few I would like us to look at as we meditate on the majesty of our Creator.
  • I Chronicles 29:11 - "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all." 
  • Job 37:22 - "He comes from the north as golden splendor; With God is awesome majesty."
  • Psalm 29:4 - "The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty."
  • Psalm 45:3 - "Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One, with Your glory and Your majesty."
  • Psalm 93:1 - "The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength.  Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved."
  • Psalm 96:6 - "Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary."
  • Psalm 104:1 - "Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great:  You are clothed with honor and majesty."
Like these writers, we should acknowledge and appreciate the wonderful majesty of our Mighty God.

"To God our Savior, Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power,
Both now and forever. Amen."
- Jude 25 -

Friday, June 1, 2012

Patriotic Printables!

My husband and I have decided that every three months I would change the decor in our living room and on the porch.  We broke down the year by seasons.  This is the schedule we came up with:
  • December-February:  Winter, Snow, Snowmen etc.
  • March-May:  Spring, Flowers etc.
  • June-August:  Summer, Patriotic, Stars etc.
  • September-November:  Autumn, Pumpkins, Leaves etc.
Due to some news we learned in early May, my mind has been very focused on matters other than our decor...so up until this morning I had yet to really begin working on our summer decor.

Here's some patriotic printables I created this morning.  Feel free to download them and use for your personal use!

Happy 1st Day of June!